President Kagame said that the Volkswagen plant in Rwanda is proof that global brands that assemble high-quality products in Africa have customers on the continent.
President Paul Kagame has said that Africa should not be a dumping ground for used products from developed markets.
President Kagame was speaking Wednesday morning at the launch of Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda located in the Special Economic Zone.
The German carmaker was launching a plant to assemble, service and retail cars as well as their first integrated mobility solution.
Kagame said that the assembly plant in Rwanda is proof that global brands that assemble high-quality products in Africa have customers on the continent.
“Not only can global brands assemble high-quality products in Africa, they can also find customers here. Africa is not merely positioning itself as a new low-cost hub to manufacture goods for export. African consumers will also be among the biggest contributors to growth in global demand in the years ahead,” the President said.
Kagame said that settling for second hand products often leads to higher costs in the long run.
“Africa does not need to be a dumping ground for second-hand cars, or second-hand anything. In the long run, you end up paying a higher price anyway. If you pay a high price for second hand, why not pay for something new. Africa and Rwanda deserve better and this is one way of showing we can afford it,” he noted.
With VW having similar operations in various African countries including Kenya, Kagame said that it’s important for regional countries to work together to attract and retain investments as well as create value.
The Head of State said that the investment by the firm in the region further pointed to the need to build an integrated regional manufacturing base.
“This operation reminds us of the importance of working regionally. Our Kenyan brothers and sisters are a key part of this international team. Rwanda and Kenya will be benefitting each other directly with Volkswagen right in the middle of it” Kagame said.
Part of the staff in the assembly plant and service station are Kenyan while a section of Rwandan staff were trained in Kenya.